Grass to Gas Winter Webinar Series 2023-24

Innovating a New Future for Anaerobic Digestion

Join us for monthly webinars on the emerging science that sits at the juncture of Renewable Natural Gas, Anaerobic Digestion, and Regenerative Agriculture.

Learn from thought leaders who are expanding what is known about transforming our agricultural sector in terms of its energy, economic, and ecological performance.

Engage in discussion about new discoveries about integrating biogas and regenerative agriculture together into the rural economy.

Who Should Attend?

All are welcome!  These webinars will be presenting new and emerging research in …

Grass To Gas Anaerobic Digestion Q&A

This page lists questions and answers from the C-Change GrassToGas project’s PA Extension newsletter.  To be added to the newsletter mailing list, contact

1. Question: Is switchgrass a good feedstock for biogas digesters?

Answer: Not usually. Anaerobic digestion involves microscopic organisms that eat energy-rich components such as sugars. Lignocellulosic biomass, such as switchgrass, contains sugars, but is structured in a way that specifically prevents easy access to its energy-rich components. Because of the limited accessibility to the energy-rich …

Grass To Gas project

What is it?

The Grass-to-gas project is a 5-year, USDA-funded project that carries out research, extension, and education programs aimed at developing new approaches to Anaerobic Digestion that are economically beneficial to farmers and ecologically beneficial to farms.


The project is led by Iowa State University and Penn State University, with a team of partner farmers and companies all working together to grow this opportunity.


Demonstration Farms, where perennial grass production, cover crops, and their use in biogas …

Energy Answers for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher

Farm Energy Answers logo

The USDA has sponsored the development of a new series of extension materials designed specifically with new farmers in mind.  Called “Energy Answers for the Beginning Farmer & Rancher”, it utilizes farm energy experts from university extension programs across the country to answer hot-topic energy questions.  The main product of the project is a series of short, engaging videos and resources that give useful tips and information on-farm energy.

Featured videos include:

NEWBio Team Defines Human Systems Driving the Bioeconomy Transition

NEWBio research discovers social, cultural, and economic motives behind local bioenergy decisions.

Collaboration between farmers and bioenergy experts
Collaboration between farmers and bioenergy experts. Photo: Great Plains Institute

Landowner and other stakeholder responses to bioenergy crop production play a critical role in the bioenergy industry’s future. NEWBio’s Human Systems Team set out to understand the social, cultural, and economic factors that drive decisions about bioenergy development in the Northeast U.S. Drawing from social science disciplines, the team found evidence that social-cultural and economic factors of bioenergy …

NEWBio Harvest, Preprocessing, and Logistics Team Optimizes Biomass Supply Chain Processes

NEWBio shows producers new methods that can save them sizable costs in their biomass operations, including a 20% reduction in harvesting.

Bioenergy supply chain
Figure 1. Bioenergy supply chain from the production of dedicated energy crops through harvesting, storage, preprocessing and transportation to an end user. Courtesy of Tom Richard.

Harvesting, preprocessing, and storing biomass and then transporting it to biorefineries or other end users is a critical part of the bioenergy supply chain. Those functions can account for more than half the …

NEWBio Feedstock Improvement Team Breeds Better Switchgrass and Willow for the Bioeconomy

Breeding new perennial grass varieties of willow and switchgrass with useful bioenergy traits for the Northeast drives NEWBio team.

Shrub willow
Shrub Willow Canopy. Photo credit: Armen Kemanian.


Perennial crops dedicated to biomass production are just starting to be developed.  Most existing varieties of potential feedstock crops, such as switchgrass, have been bred for use as forage or conservation. But new varieties with traits that bioenergy producers require, especially high yields of biomass, will be a boon to a growing bioenergy industry. …

Market Analysis for Biomass Growers

Example Analyses of the Wood Chips and Paperboard Manufacturing Industries as Biomass Markets.


Greene Team pellets. Photo: NEWBio

The production of biofuels is a primary intended use for biomass. Because the cellulosic biofuels industry is still developing, there is not yet sufficient capacity in biofuel refineries to utilize biomass crops grown for cellulosic biofuels. However, the bioeconomy overall is growing, and many products other than biofuels can be manufactured from biomass. These byproducts may be alternate markets [i] for …

Research Summary: How Bioenergy Experts Can Improve Public Engagement

By including landowners in conversations about bioenergy crops such as switchgrass, willow and Miscanthus, experts are more likely to promote adoption than by just providing new information.

Sponsoring Partner

Logo NEWBio
Funded by AFRI. Learn More.

Table of Contents


Current efforts to engage landowners on the topic of dedicated energy crops may fall short due to a crucial assumption made …

NEWBio Commercial Collaborators: Building a Sustainable Energy Future in the Northeast United States

Sponsoring Partner

Logo NEWBio
Funded by AFRI. Learn More.


The Northeast region of the United States (from the Ohio River to the New England coast) has the natural, social, and technological resources needed to help create a sustainable, rural renaissance by using biomass to create biofuels, biopower, and advanced bioproducts. The Northeast Woody/Warm-Season Biomass Consortium (NEWBio) believes that the path to this vision is through collaboration with commercial innovators along various points of the bioeconomy supply chain. NEWBio’s commercial collaborators, biomass-based …